Thunderstorms expected in area; highs expected to top 100 Wednesday and Thursday
By Bert Etling, Ashland.news
The threat of new fire starts due to expected “abundant lightning on dry fuels” has prompted the Medford office of the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for noon to 11 p.m. Wednesday for wide swaths of Southern Oregon and Northern California, including Ashland and the south end of the Rogue Valley.
Thunderstorms are expected to start dry and become wetter in time, according to the announcement. In addition to the threat of new fire starts, a dry and unstable layer will support gusty and erratic outflow winds with any thunderstorms. Plume-dominated fire activity will be possible with new or existing fires due to hot, dry and unstable conditions.
In addition, a heat advisory is in effect for 11 a.m. Wednesday to 11 p.m. Thursday for much of the same area, with high temperatures of 100 to 110 degrees expected.
Ashland’s forecast calls for a high of 105 on Wednesday and 103 on Thursday.
The city of Ashland encourages residents to take action to prepare for the possibility of fire, including to:
- Sign up for emergency alerts on the City Nixle page
- Make an evacuation plan and have your Go Kit ready
- Know your evacuation zone and all routes in and out
- Make sure your home is fire ready by removing leaves, needles, and bark mulch from your roof, gutters, and within five feet of the building and keeping all plants lean, clean, and green.
Ashland Fire & Rescue is staffing up its firefighting capacity along with Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Southwest Oregon and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (RRSNF) to respond to any fires in our area.
RRSNF is maintaining initial attack staffing with six times as many firefighters than during normal staffing. Initial attack firefighters and equipment will be positioned to most efficiently provide response to potential lightning fires, according to a Forest Service news release, which added that the forest “will remain vigilant to detect new starts from the air and ground and prepared to provide aggressive initial attack if new fires should start.”
Email Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text him at 541-631-1313.